Northern Lights show from Whiffen Spit in Sooke. ( Ian Terris Photography‎ )

Keep an eye on the night sky this weekend, no matter where you are across Vancouver Island or Canada for that matter, because there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to see the Aurora Borealis, aka the Northern Lights.

An unusually large release of plasma from the sun is expected to cause a geomagnetic storm when it begins to arrive on Sunday night, giving much of Vancouver Island a chance of seeing the aurora borealis.

Sunspot activity suggests there will be a good display July 16-17.

Also known as the northern lights, the aurora is caused by electrons colliding with the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere.

The U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center has called for a moderate geomagnetic storm — which is responsible for putting on the colourful display.


There are a few things you can do to get prepared to watch the Northern Lights:

Light pollution will spoil any view of the Northern Lights. The best option is to head north until you can see a healthy number of stars above your head.

Also, even if you are in a good position to see the aurora, it may still be quite faint, requiring a camera that can capture long exposures and some post-processing to really pick out the vibrant colours.

If you do capture an amazing photo, make sure to hashtag it with #victoriabuzz, or email us at

Subscribe to the Victoria Buzz newsletter to receive the latest news, events and more directly to your inbox. Every day.